For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. (ESV)
There is a bond that exists between all believers in Jesus Christ that the world just does not understand. I have met believers in a different part of the world and felt an immediate connection. It was because the same Holy Spirit that dwells in me dwells in them. That love and affection are the glue that unites the family of God.
Paul describes his bond with these Philippian believers in very strong terms. Here he is, imprisoned in Rome, unsure of whether or not he will ever be released to see the church at Philippi again. He had been cared for by their donations of money so that he could eat and have his physical needs met in prison. He had also been sent messages from the believers by their very own Epaphroditus.
Paul missed these very dear people from Philippi. And with good reason. This word for "affection" in the Greek is a very intense word. Dr. John MacArthur writes the following about the word that Paul uses here for affection:
"The word lit. refers to the internal organs, which are the part of the body that reacts to intense emotion. It became the strongest Greek word to express compassionate love—a love that involves one’s entire being."
- MacArthur Study Bible Notes
Have you experienced the love and affection from other believers in Jesus Christ? If not, either you or they are doing Christianity wrong! We are to be known by our love. Love someone in Christ today!